The High/Low — By The Numbers

How we found the 82 winning products from a pool of 2,533 submissions.

by TZR Editors
A selection of products from TZR's 2021 beauty awards

7 Months

Back in April 2021, we set out to relaunch TZR’s Beauty Awards by asking a very important question: What are the absolute best products at both an affordable and luxury price point? Thus, The High/Low was born, a new name for a new kind of awards event that aims to find out which beauty launches are the best value both over and under $20. Now, it’s been seven months since we set out to select 82 exceptional products that launched between July 2020 and July 2021, and finally, the winners are here.

4 Product Categories

The beauty world has a product for just about everything, but the most in-demand groups in 2021 are skin care, makeup, hair care, and body care. That’s why, for The High/Low, we determined these four groups as the categories to find the most worthwhile new products that can care for your body from head to toe.

41 Subcategories

Whether you’re looking for a hair mask to hydrate your curls or a body exfoliator to get rid of that pesky keratosis pilaris, the most in-demand beauty product types are available in The High/Low awards.

2,533 Products Submitted For Consideration

When we sent out the call for submissions, we knew that we’d receive a fair amount of interest from brands. But we never could have guessed that over 2,500 new products would be sent our way for consideration. It was tough to narrow down so many incredible formulas and tools, but if there’s one thing beauty nerds love to do, it’s to swatch and play and test new products.

452 Semifinalists

After careful consideration, we narrowed the pool of products down to 452 semifinalists across all four categories. These products were then sent out to our team of Bustle Digital Group’s product testers.

45 BDG Product Testers

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Forty-five eager and willing BDG staffers volunteered to test out the first round of semifinalist products for The High/Low and share their reviews after four weeks.

16 Guest Judges

In order to determine the winners of The High/Low, TZR recruited 16 of the beauty industry’s most notable talent. From celebrity hair stylists and makeup artists to prestigious dermatologists and estheticians, these guest judges provided valuable insight into what makes a product stand out from all the rest.

82 Winners

The guest judges tested the products for five weeks and helped select the final winners for 2021’s The High/Low Awards — 82 in all. Forty-one products are priced below $20, and another 41 are priced above $20. No matter the size of your budget, you can design a head-to-toe beauty routine with an array of high-quality products. Want to splurge on that new bronzer for your next big night out? We’ve got you covered. Eager to stock your bathroom with plenty of affordable body washes and creams? We know the best options for both. Mix and match your beauty products to your heart’s content without ever compromising on quality — that is the goal of The High/Low.

We hope you enjoy exploring this year’s winners as much as we did finding them.

— Hannah Baxter, deputy beauty editor